Home > Agriculture > DNA and Agricultural Yields

DNA and Agricultural Yields

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 28 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Agricultural Yields Genetically

You may wonder how DNA could possibly relate to agricultural yields, but the link is actually quite an interesting one that is a curious mix of nature and technology. Agricultural yields can be increased through the use of genetic modification (GM), which relies on taking coveted properties from one organism and inserting these genes into another organism to create those same desired effects. The idea behind increasing agricultural yields is to provide more crops at reduced costs. While genetically modified crops have generally been created to feed people in developed nations, research has suggested that their use in developing countries has been far more beneficial.

Benefits of Improving Agricultural Yields

One of the key benefits of improved agricultural yields has been that they are thought to help battle poverty and hunger in developing and third world countries. In fact, in one trial of cotton, yields were eighty percent higher in GM crops than in non-modified crops. Even researchers were surprised at the enormous difference between the two types of crops. The increase in agricultural yields is considered a sustainable form of development and it also carries the benefit of reduced pesticide use because GM crops are sprayed less frequently than non-GM crops.

Concerns Regarding Technology to Increase Crop Yields

There are, however, still many concerns regarding the practice of increasing agricultural yields through genetic modification. Many environmental crusaders cite that this type of technology has many flaws and that any increase in yield is only temporary because insects and similar pests will eventually become resistant to the GM crops. Still, others argue that even if the benefit is only short-term, it is still a valuable one for farmers in developing nations. Many farmers cannot afford the constantly increasing cost of pesticides and their yields are jeopardised. By using GM crops, the pesticide resistance can allow them to provide greater yields at a reduced cost in terms of pesticides. It is also important to note that tropical climates can bring with them even more difficult pest challenges, which means that pesticide resistant crops become more important in this climate.

Future of GM Crops and Improving Agricultural Yields

The controversy of GM crops will not likely end soon, at least not until long-term studies have been performed to assess their merits, efficacy and safety. The improvement of agricultural yields is a constant and important issue for farmers. Indeed, their profits and livelihood depend on the provision of substantial agricultural yields each year. In fact, the livelihood of the entire community will also depend, in part, on adequate crop yields - particularly in developing nations where staple crops may ultimately provide most of the population's food. The ability to improve these yields through GM crops is an important issue to consider but the long-term implications regarding pesticide resistance must also be acknowledged and addressed.

Research will also hopefully include these concerns and perhaps better GM crops will be developed that can afford consistent and lengthy pesticide resistance. Until that time, alternatives to GM crops should still be considered, specifically ones that do not entail the numerous challenges, questions and controversies of GM crops.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • yoks
    Re: DNA Testing for Pets
    my best friend jakey passed away and i wish to adopt another dog through jakes lineage jake was microchipped twice and i still have his…
    20 January 2020
  • Building
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Why is a building called a building if it’s already built?
    14 January 2020
  • Joe
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    One sunny day joe was in a great mood. Bob saw him from the other side of the room. But little did he know he was a horny bastard. Joe felt…
    13 January 2020
  • Slave Owner
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    I hate Abraham Lincoln I was fine with my Slaves, they would do everything for me and now they are all released, we should kill…
    13 January 2020
  • Lori Holland
    Re: DNA Testing for Pets
    I noticed I have a similar (question)s as others. Can a sample of my deceased dogs poop be tested to determine why she died? I too am not…
    8 January 2020
  • super steve
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    my brother was killed by a doctor prescribing ripiradone tabletts witch caused him to get colon cancer and now he is dead all because a…
    4 January 2020
  • Jeff
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I would like to know if it is possible to do DNA testing, of a 1916 sample of blood, which was smeared on the front and back covers and…
    4 January 2020
  • Cazzie
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi my son passed away and i have now found his dad his dad is a little bit sceptical if he is even his i have his…
    21 December 2019
  • Rufus
    Re: Using DNA and for Immigration Purposes
    Hi. My biological father is Irish. But I have a different name on my birth certificate. I want to claim my Irish…
    11 December 2019
  • Barry
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat…
    25 November 2019